Dairy Free

All Seasons, Condiments, Condiments/Sauces, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Low Sodium, Paleo/Primal, Spring, Summer, Vegetable, Winter

Proscuitto and Melon Spinach Salad

It was love at first site and first bite with this colorful and vibrant spinach salad that I first had at Pie for the People in Joshua Tree, CA. The sweet cantaloupe chunks and salty Italian dry-cured ham are nestled next to Guinness caramelized onions and raw red onions and served in a sweet vinaigrette.

This summer salad inspires you to slow down, pull up a chair to a table under a shady tree, pop open a crisp bottle of white wine and invite a handful of your favorite people to toast the blessing of your abundant life. Yes, truly..it does!

Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Grains, Grains, Low Sodium, Main, Paleo/Primal, Salads, Sides, Sides, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Edamame and Summer Corn Quinoa Salad

This light and fresh deli-style salad that I originally bought from Stater Bro. Market in Joshua Tree sustained me for a couple days whether before a hike in Joshua Tree National Park or as a light snack on one of our many car rides during our southern California summer vacation.

I know this salad will become a permanent addition to your summer rotation of favorite, go-to recipes.

All Seasons, American, Beef, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Paleo/Primal, Slow Cooker, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Hickory Smoked BBQ Short Ribs

Do you have a craving for BBQ ribs, but no time to precook them, bake them, and then grill them? No problem, as this slow cooker does it all for you. It’s finger-licking, fall-off-the-bone good and pairs perfectly with cornbread, coleslaw and an ice cold beer (fresh lemonade for the kids).

All Seasons, American, Beans/Legumes, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Sides, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

This is my whole foods version of baked beans that can be eaten as a main dish; a little bit tangy and a little bit sweet. Serve this with a side of greens, homemade cole slaw or a crispy salad. I like it over brown rice, but a warm loaf of baked bread or dinner rolls, and chunks of cheese would also suffice.

All Seasons, American, Beef, Dairy Free, Fall, Main, Slow Cooker, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker French Dipped Sandwiches

If you happen to be in Los Angeles you must make a stop into Phillipe the Original in Chinatown for the best French dipped sandwiches. While all their versions are pretty yummy (lamb, roast pork, turkey or ham) it’s their classic roast beef French dip that is iconic LA food and I had to recreate the sandwich at home for when the craving just needs to be satisfied. This is the restaurant’s classic recipe adapted for the slow cooker. Much cheaper than a plane ticket!

All Seasons, Asian, Beef, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Paleo / Primal, Paleo/Primal, Slow Cooker, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Asian Beef and Broccoli

A bit of a twist on a popular Chinese dish, which is typically made with sirloin strips, this slow cooker version uses more economical and fuss-free lean ground beef. This is a staple for my family on Tuesday piano practice night when we come in late and need dinner in a hurry. I prepare my rice in a rice cooker just before we leave and keep it on warm for our return.

All Seasons, Beef, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Latin America, Main, Paleo/Primal, Slow Cooker, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Picadillo, Cuban-Style

Being transplanted to Tampa over 20 years ago has opened my eyes to the culinary wonders of Cuban food: black beans and rice, Cuban sandwiches, arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), café con leche, and this dish, Picadillo. Tampa’s Cuban community originated in the late 1800s in what is now Ybor City, named after its founder, Vicente Martinez Ybor, and continues to be a huge cultural and culinary influence on the City of Tampa.

I found this history of picadillo from Tampa’s Junior League, a philanthropic and social organization that, among other things, is famous for its locally-based cookbooks, which have graced Tampa kitchen counters since 1961: The name comes from the Spanish word “picar,” meaning “to chop” or “to mince,” and it seems that many Latin American countries have their own twist on the basic ground beef recipe. In Mexico, it’s sweetened with honey, giving it a teriyaki-like taste. In Puerto Rico, it is used as the filling for empanadas and can include cheese, ham and rum-soaked raisins. In the Dominican Republic, picadillo can include hard-boiled egg and a bouillon cube. The Cuban version is a balance of sweet-salty due to the pimento-stuffed olives, capers, vinegar and raisins.

All Seasons, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Lamb, Main, Middle Eastern, Paleo/Primal, Slow Cooker, Spring, Stews, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Wash Day Stew

In Iran it is typical to prepare this dish when it is wash day. The traditional way to make this meal is very early in the morning you make a fire in a large rock-lined pit outside the house. A large covered kettle is filled with the ingredients and placed over the coals to cook slowly all day. At the end of a day of doing laundry the food was ready with minimal preparation.

This slow cooking recipe lends itself beautifully to a slow cooker and I have also simplified by substituting cooked, canned beans for dried ones. It is served strained through a slotted spoon and scooped into pita bread but I like to spoon it over a whole grain like couscous, quinoa or rice.